Centamin ups 2016 production target for its gold mine in Egypt

Centamin ups 2016 production target from its gold mine in Egypt

Sukari gold mine, located 700 km from Cairo. (Image courtesy of Centamin)

Toronto and London-listed gold miner Centamin (TSX:CEE) (LON:CEY) said Thursday it expects 2016 production from its main Sukari gold mine in Egypt to increase by 7% to 470,000 ounces, as it continues to ramp-up production in expanded areas of the mine.

The company, which also aims to reduce all-in-sustaining costs at the operation to $900 per ounce from $950 per ounce last year, posted mixed preliminary production results for the quarter ending Dec. 31.

Output at Sukuri was 117,644 ounces, a 12% increase on the previous quarter, but an 8% fall when compared to the same quarter of 2014.

Centamin brought full year production to 439,072 ounces, within the guidance of between 430,000 and 440,000 ounces for the year and a 16% increase on 2014.

The numbers are a fresh boost for the Alexandria-based company, which not only has put Egypt back on the gold mining map, but also has become one of the few bullion miners to have performed well during one of the most difficult markets conditions affecting gold producers in decades.

In the last six months, Centamin's shares have climbed 19% in the Toronto Exchange, giving it a market value of $1.1 billion (Cdn$1.6 billion)

But the positive results were marred by news of a fatal incident in the open pit operation during the period, when a contractor's employee was involved in a rock collapse while relocating a grade control drill rig.

The company, which is currently also exploring for gold in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, said a full review of the relevant operating procedures has been completed.

Sukari, which began commercial production in 2010, is jointly owned by Centamin and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) on a 50:50 basis.